KDrama Review: The Bride of Habaek

Published on March 15, 2018

I finally got the chance to watch The Bride of Habaek. It was the first Korean drama I watched after my short hiatus slash detox. Nyahaha! The last drama I watched was Fight for My Way. Things got even busier with my work and life in general so I stopped watching KDramas. I’m still very busy, which you probably notice from the lack of new blog posts, but I really need a diversion before my head explodes. Hahaha!

I was meaning to watch The Bride of Habaek during its run, but I failed to do so. Apart from my very busy schedule, I also read a lot of mixed reviews! Even my small circle of friends at work who are all KDrama addicts were divided whether they like TBoH or not! I initially thought that the not-so-good reviews were only because Nam Joo-Hyuk did so well in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo so people naturally had very high expectations from him. It was also shown during the time when the news broke out that he and WFKBJ co-star Lee Sung-Kyung were dating. But after I finished watching the last episode, I finally understood the mixed reviews!

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Image taken from asianwiki.com

Although some people say that the story is just a spin-off of Goblin, I honestly believe that the story of The Bride of Habaek is still good. Nam Joo-Hyuk plays Habaek, the water god who needed to go to the human world and bring back something before he becomes the king. Shin Se-Kyung plays So-A, a psychiatrist who is desperately running away from her past. She crossed paths with Habaek because she happened to be a servant’s descendant. Unknown to her and to other humans that there are gods and goddesses who live like humans in the human world. The plot kept me intrigued from start to finish.

The lead actors are also good. I might be biased because it’s Nam Joo-Hyuk, but I really think that he was able to give justice to his role. His eyes (at ‘yung abs, pucha haha) were his perfect tools in portraying a powerful but vulnerable god. Sakto ‘yung “innocence” nya tapos biglang nagiging playful or mysterious ‘yung eyes. Pero ‘yung abs talaga e! Hahahaha!

I actually don’t have a problem with the performance of Shin Se-Kyung. Contrary to popular opinion, I actually enjoyed her performance as a psychiatrist who cannot even get over her own trauma. I also find her cute, to be honest. Hihi.

Now, here’s the problem. Both actors were good, but they failed to make me fully engaged. I read various comments online saying that they stopped watching at a certain episode for various reasons. I felt the same thing countless of times while watching. It’s not because the story was dragging or the actors have poor acting. It was because there were many times when I just could not “feel” them. I’m not sure if it was lack of chemistry. I honestly don’t know. Alam mo ‘yung feeling na dapat sinasaksak ka na sa sakit ng eksena pero parang kagat lang ng langgam ang naramdaman mo? Genern! I’m just glad that, just like what I said earlier, the story is just really interesting. Ayun na lang ang nagtawid sa panonood ko. I really wanted to know what would happen!

Apart from the story, there was also one thing that helped me hang on to this drama. It wasn’t NJH’s abs! Okay, fine. Medyo ayun rin ang reason ko. Hahaha. But seriously, there was a specific character which filled in the gaps of whatever was lacking with the two main characters. It was Lim Ju-Hwan who plays Hoo Ye! I liked him ever since I watched him in Oh My Ghost. I was able to connect the dots and guess what the “mystery” was about in his character right away because I’ve seen Oh My Ghost. Medyo hawig kasi ang characters in some way. But nevertheless, his portrayal was flawless. Siya talaga ang favorite ko, sereh nemen! Hihihi! I feel like he exudes something in his aura that makes him so good in portraying a good and a bad guy at the same time! I felt his pain as he fought with his personal struggles. In short, engaged na engaged ako sa kanya. The drama also has a great supporting cast. Some feel that most of the characters are mainly fillers, but their performances gave justice to whatever was expected from their roles. Pero kasi, masyadong ginalingan ni Lim Ju-Hwan, kaya uwian na lang. Hahaha!

I actually predicted the ending, but how it was presented still surprised me a bit. ‘Yung alam mo na may mokong kang kabarkada na gugulatin ka tapos nagulat ka pa rin? Mej ganun e. I also liked the fact that everybody had the kind of ending that they deserve. Hindi pilit na everybody happy. Can you imagine how hard it would be for Habaek and So-A? Nag-over-analyze ako ng slight, pero it’s still somehow sad ha. Ganun din na-feel ko sa ending ng Goblin. Nagpanggap lang na happy ending. Hahahaha!

I still enjoyed watching The Bride of Habaek. Whatever I felt was missing in terms of the level of engagement that I was hoping between the two lead characters was compensated by other things – interesting plot, good supporting cast, effective storytelling, Lim Ju-Hwan’s performance, some occasional laughs here and there, musical scoring and Nam Joo-Hyuk’s abs! Harharharhar!

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